Libanon – 01. 08. 2017
International effort against illegal bird hunting in the Lebanon
SPNL, CABS to organise ´Operation Safe Haven´ in September
Beirut. Ornithologists and hunting experts from France, Turkey, Germany, Italy and the UK are joining Lebanese conservationists to monitor bird migration and illegal hunting in the Lebanese countryside this September, the Society for the Protection of Nature in the Lebanon (SPNL) and the Germany-based NGO Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) said today.
The expedition, nicknamed ´Operation Safe Haven´, will be conducted from 1 to 15 September and is a response to the uncontrolled mass shooting of storks, eagles, pelicans, buzzards and other rare migratory birds which is widespread in the Lebanon. Recent studies have revealed that between two and three million birds are killed in the Lebanon each year with more than 280 species being affected.
“Most of the birds killed by Lebanese poachers belong to migratory species of international conservation concern and breed in Europe, where considerable resources and efforts are put into protecting the last remaining breeding pairs. These efforts are undermined, if the birds don’t come back because they get shot in the Lebanon”, CABS ornithologist Lloyd Scott explains his motivation to join the project.
“Our aim is to collect data on the bird migration over the Lebanon with a special focus on the influence of illegal hunting on different bird species, especially storks and birds of prey”, SPNL´s CEO Assad Serhal said adding that all acts of poaching observed by the teams will be reported to the police and the Ministry of the Environment in Beirut. To help the authorities to bring poachers to justice the teams will be equipped with video cameras, binoculars and powerful spotting scopes. All incidents will be filmed and the footage will be passed on the police as evidence to ensure that the poachers can be prosecuted.
Operation Safe Haven is supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Lebanese Ministry of Environment, the Special Advisor to President Michel Aoun, Mrs. Claudine Aoun Roukoz, and local hunting organisations. Detailed reports about the expedition´s findings will be sent to all relevant Lebanese authorities as well as to the secretariats of the international Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Regular updates about all poaching incidents documented by the expedition will also be reported to the Lebanese media as well as on various social media platforms.
Contact CABS: Axel Hirschfeld (Operations & Press Officer), Tel.: 0049 1794803805, Email: axel.hirschfeld_at_komitee.de
Contact SPNL: Assad Serhal (SPNL director), Tel.: 00961 3349812, Email: aserhal_at_spnl.org